A4 Series #2
I have chosen to let the fates decide how my new campaign will flow. Rather than having a storyline to run with, I am going to use a campaign event table to generate a general storyline and use it is as a guide to fill in the campaign. The generator I have chosen is from 1st Edition Advanced Dungeon and Dragons Oriental Adventure’s book. There are other ones out there, but I have generally enjoyed this one and like how it works. The tables generate a yearly event and, based on that event, there may be related or companion monthly events. Even if you have a story in mind for your campaign, these event generation tables can be useful to create a background of happenings in the world setting which gives it a more “lived-in” feel.
For the yearly event, I rolled a 99 which is yields a result of War in the region beginning in the 12th month. A second roll indicates that it is our setting region that launches the assault.
I get the following results for each month:
70 = Troop movements
48 = Minor Incursion
63 = Recruiting
49 = Minor Incursion
17 = Death
83 = No event
57 = Major Battle
87 = No event
97 = No event
79 = Vengeful Stranger
12 = Birth
25 = Excessive Taxes (and War)
In the beginning of the year, in the midst of the cold weather, a large force of the King’s army moves along the northern shore of the lake. They claim to be hunting for a large force of raiding humanoids from the mountains although the characters have not heard any tales. The troops do place a heavy burden on the farms and hamlets as they require shelter and food as they hunt out the raiding forces. Characters whom raise their voices too loudly at the troops actions can easily find themselves arrested and have their gear confiscated.
In the second month, the rumors are born out as a large force of raiding Orcs and Goblin-kin from the mountains begins attacking the homesteads and guard towers to the far north of the region. There are several deaths, multiple homesteads are burned down and there is a good deal of chaos in the region as desperate refugees flee in the harsh winter conditions.
During the third month, as a result of the battles and losses incurred by the King’s army, the northern homesteads begin raising troops to defend the lands. It is possible that the characters can be caught up in this (willingly or not) and become part of the armed forces seeking to defend the lands. Or, perhaps, they may exact their own vengeance on the humanoids by striking into the mountains.
All quiets down for a short while as the winter fades away in the fourth month. The levied troops are disbanded and the farmers tend to their fields as the growing season approaches while the King’s army looks to rebuild and strengthen the fortifications along the northern borderland. To the east, a force of the desert folk beyond the mountain are said to have raided the trading city on the far side of the pass taking advantage of the defenses that were weakened when defenders were pulled away to aid the northern borders. Joining the Men of the desert are Orcs from the mountain pass.
As defenders rise up to hold off the invading forces during the fifth month, the noble lord of the trading town is slain in the fighting and some hail him as a hero while others brand him a coward. This causes chaos among the defenders and they pull back from their positions, leaving the trading city to be raided by the Orcs and the Men of the east.
Emboldened by this victory, the raiders gather a larger force of Orcs and desert-folk gather during the seventh month. They strike hard, overrunning the fallback garrisons and then marching to the edge of the capital city itself before being halted and pushed back to the pass as the forces to the north march to the rescue. The next few months are quiet as the garrisons at the end of the path are rebuilt and strengthened.
As the eastern fortifications are rebuilt, questions are asked regarding the inheritance of the late lord’s lands. As the summer comes to a close there are tales told of a man wandering about claiming that the noble was killed by his own men — murdered because he would not abandon the city. Several military officers from the trade city are discovered murdered.
As the year draws to a close, there are tales of a miraculous birth to the west near the city of Elevarium during the eleventh month. This baby is born to a peasant family and it is said that the infant can speak as an adult, knowing things that only the sages should know. There are claims that the child is touched by the Divine and sent as a great teacher.
Finally, as the year draws to a close, the King announces that vengeance will be seen on the Men of the desert and the Orcs of the pass. A heavy tax is levied on noble and peasant alike to re-arm the armies, who will march into the pass the following spring.
All of this story line provides a broad outlay of what is going to happen. There are multiple events that the party could be involved in or, perhaps, these will just provide a background arc to the campaign as the party progresses along its own path.
All of this, of course, is dependent on the players and their characters. So, it now is time to involve the players … in the next installment!